Video: A search of Ipswich City Council’s archives uncovered this promotional video to celebrate the grand opening of Global Arts Link (now Ipswich Art Gallery) in 1999

The story of the Ipswich Art Gallery began with a dream and a vision more than 65 years ago

The original gallery opened in 1951 in the then Town Hall. It was very small having been allocated space in the building’s foyer. This area is currently used as offices by gallery staff.

Getting to the present day art gallery wasn’t an easy journey from those humble beginnings.

In 1980 it was relocated to the former St Paul’s Young Men’s Hall which is now the Ipswich Community Gallery on the corner of Limestone Street and d’Arcy Doyle Place.

Fast forward to the 1990s.

There was a groundswell of community and business support backed by donations to the Ipswich Arts Foundation for the gallery to return to its old home, but on a much grander scale.

The heritage listed old Town Hall was in need of much love so it would again become a building for the people of Ipswich.

In 1999 it was extensively renovated and extended ready to resume its role as the cultural hub of the city.

Heritage features restored included the scissor beam roof and arched windows.

The gallery was relaunched in its former home as Global Arts Link (or GAL) which reflected the modern way forward during a time of rapid changes in technology and communications.

The name Ipswich Art Gallery was returned in 2004.

It is now one of the most visited regional galleries in Australia with more than 100,000 visitors annually.

For more on the history of Ipswich Art Gallery, current exhibitions and programs click here.

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